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Friday, December 12, 2014

1529. Simple screen shots

Recently, when I had a problem with my Windows computer, I asked a friend for help. My friend asked me to email her a screen shot showing the problem—I had no idea how to do it. I found the PrtScn key on my keyboard, and that sort of did the job, but I ended up with a huge image of the entire screen. I just wanted to capture the window causing trouble. Is there a better tool?
Yes, PrtScn has worked, sort of, since the beginning of recorded time (well, you know what we mean). It’s a tricky key to find unless you know where to look, and it does capture the entire screen to the Windows Clipboard. You can then paste the image into an email or a document. Pressing the Windows Key+PrtScn takes a screen shot of the entire screen, and saves it into the Screenshots folder within your Pictures folder. We also found (by doing some research) that you can press Alt+PrtScn and Windows captures only the current window to the Windows Clipboard.
If you want a little more control over your screen captures, try running the free Windows utility called Snipping Tool (it’s been in Windows since at least Windows XP). You can use Snipping Tool to capture the full screen, a single window, or a portion of the screen (even a non-rectangular area). It’s free, it’s easy, and for the most part, for capturing portions of the screen and saving them, it works fine.
If you want to invest a little money, you can’t do better with Snagit, from TechSmith ( This tool does it all. SnagIt, available for both Windows and Mac, makes it easy to capture anything off the screen (even windows that are too large to fit on the screen, like long Web pages). SnagIt also provides editing tools so that you can mark up your screen captures. We both use this excellent tool for creating screen captures, and it’s worth the cost for us. It’s currently $50, so it’s not cheap, but if you create screen captures regularly, it’s worth every penny!
There are a ton (and we mean, a TON) of other options for capturing screen images. We haven’t looked at them all, and we can’t really recommend others, although I feel sure we’ll get a lot of emails telling us about your personal favorites. That’s great, but between Windows Snipping Tool and SnagIt, we’re happy

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